Wednesday, December 5, 2012


20 Christmas Facts

  1. According to rumor, “Silent Night” was originally written in 1816 for the guitar because the local church’s piano was broken.
  2. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was started in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge.
  3. In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lit until Dec 22 in honor of a 30-day mourning period for President Kennedy.
  4. Santa Claus wasn’t portrayed as human-sized until Coca-Cola did in 1931. Before that, he had been shown as an elf.
  5. How did Christmas get abbreviated to Xmas? The first letter of Christ in Greek is chi, which is portrayed as an “X.”
  6. Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and California are the top Christmas tree producing states.
  7. The Christmas tree industry employs more than 100,000 people each year in the U.S.
  8. The temperature in the North Pole almost never rises above freezing.
  9. The first company to make Christmas tree lights was Edison General Electric Co.
  10. SantaCon is an event where large numbers of people dress up in Santa costumes and parade the streets and bars of a city. The tradition was started in San Francisco in 1994.
  11. Christmas cards were originated in England and first sent in the 1840s.
  12. Every year Norway sends a large Christmas tree over to England.
  13. Over five miles of lights are used to decorate the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center each year.
  14. In Germany, Santa doesn’t do the whole chimney bit—he just comes in the front door.
  15. The shape of a candy cane is supposed to represent a shepherd’s crook.
  16. Christmas was made a Federal holiday in the US on June 26 1870.
  17. Christmas carols were started as a way to tell people who couldn’t read about the nativity story.
  18. Charles Dickens’ 1843 story “A Christmas Carol” has been made into film over 200 times.
  19. Recycled Christmas trees are used as sand and soil erosion barriers.
  20. The US postal system offered its first Christmas stamp in 1962.


   One of my favorite holiday traditions as a child was setting up the Christmas tree with my family. We had a fake one that we reused every year, along with an assortment of  ornaments.  Every year I'd anticipate the beginning of December because it meant the tree would come out of storage, and we'd proceed to adorn it with the usual trimmings. 

   There's something absolutely magical about tastefully decorated Christmas trees, isn't there? The lights, the tinsel, the ornaments — the entire package can add warmth and comfort to a room in an instant. 


Recycled for Christmas

For book lovers everywhere!

Objects of My Affection

99 Bottles of Christmas...

All I want for Christmas is a bicycle... or two.

Taters and Tots for Christmas

Ginseng Roots for all! (This one takes me back to my days in South Korea.)


This diy comes from www.allisonwaken.squarspace.com . Cute and clever. Enjoy!

Super easy Christmas or Holiday craft | DIY modern holiday decorations

We’re working on lots of fun stuff, but I made this up this evening and thought I’d share. I wanted some fun framed holiday decorations, and something that was a little more modern. First, I had this 12x12 shadow box frame I had picked up on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Then I found a piece of scrapbook paper, you could use patterned but I found this shimmery silverish color

I found these little tubes of cute little bows for $1 and figured I could do something fun with them, so I figured, why not frame them?


I wanted them in a square, but you could do any shape. A circle or triangle like a tree would be fun. I measured, and penciled in a square, I ended up going with a 2 1/2” border.


Then just lay out all of the little bows into the shape. 25 little bows fit nicely into my square. How appropriate.


Now, you could be very easy on yourself and just use the sticky back of the bows and stick them on, but I felt like being difficult and wanted to see what it would look like when I used these foamy sticky things I bought on clearance.


Stick them all on your paper and stand it up to make sure none fall off, then erase your guide lines.


Then, just pop it in the frame and you’re done! My kind of project!


   This recipe was found at www.bbcgoodfood.com .   A really nice and decadant looking cake that the looks alone could get your mouth watering.

Indulge yourself with Angela Nilsen's heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake - perfect for celebrations - birthdays, weddings, christenings - any excuse!
Ultimate chocolate cake
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate


  • 200g good quality dark chocolate , as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

Difficulty and servings

EasyCuts into 14 slices

Preparation and cooking times

Preparation time Prep 30 - 40 mins
Cook time Cook 1 hr - 1 hr 30 mins
Plus baking and cooling time
Freezable Without icing


  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.
  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don't worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.